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HOME OF THE 'TALL MAN'... (And you can see the blog pictures below in much greater detail simply by clicking on them)

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Flesher Pass west

So today I drove to Flesher Pass, which is on the paved (Highway 279) road to Helena, about 20 miles from Lincoln. There's a FS trailhead there, sitting right on the Continental Divide Trail, which I took west from the pass. This is one of the better views (most of the trail as far as I went today — four miles — is in the trees), and it's within a mile of the trailhead. It's looking south toward the Little Prickly Pear Creek drainage.

The pass is a little more than 6,100 feet, and the highest point I checked with my altimeter app was just under 6,900, so I must be getting immune to climbs. May have to go south from Rogers Pass soon to test it.

This was a prettier-than-usual stand of what I think are either "alpine" or "little" sunflowers. In any case, this was a run filled with flowers (again), so from here on down I'll post smaller pictures of a few of the more striking specimens.

Starting with this bright guy at the bottom, which is salsify.

The cluster of white and yellow flowers behind it is sticky cinquefoil.

I posted a picture of the more common shrubby cinquefoil on Tuesday. It's all over the place around here, including in people's yards in cities.

These are blanketflowers, one of dozens of daily-like flowers growing in the mountains.

I didn't see any more of them on this route, so I guess they're not real common.

I noticed after posting this the first time that there's more sticky cinquefoil at the bottom of the picture.

The purple ones are, again, showy daisies, which I have for many years (mistakenly) called Shasta daisies.

The yellow one is, I believe, sow thistle, a really pretty flower in the dandelion penumbra.

Finally, about three weeks ago I posted a picture of a tree with a lot of moss or lichen on it. A little reading tells me that it's probably lichen. I knew that if I returned to the trails around Flesher Pass, I'd get better specimens to photograph, because Nora and I had noticed how thick it was up there on hikes over the years. Today's run didn't disappoint.

This chunk was on a pair of dead trees, pretty far along on my run and in an area where the trees looked almost like krumholtz. It was on the CD ridge, and the altitude was in the vicinity of 6,900.

A longer run like this, on a sunny day, wouldn't be complete without an appearance by the tall man. Here he says howdy from the CD Trail near my turnaround point, four miles off of Flesher Pass. The lush green plants all along the sides of the trail, at least in this area, is grouse whortleberry, which I used to call alpine huckleberry. They produce fabulous, but tiny, red berries that are a rare treat.

The forecast is for temps in the high 90s today (ugh!). Oddly, it was 74 when I finished the run around 9:30, and it was just 63 in Lincoln when I got back to town.

Oh, I mentioned and photographed the sheep on the trail yesterday. They'd obviously been driven through town overnight, because when I left this morning the highway was covered with sheep scat. I saw them on my return trip toward town, about five miles up Highway 279 in the creek bottom.

8; 27; 124.5; 571

Posted by Mose, 9:52 AM


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